Vézelay, France

Vézelay
Panoramic view of the beautiful town of Vézelay in Burgundy, topped with the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene. Photo © Sacred Destinations.

Located in the Burgundy region of France, the lovely town of Vézelay has a sense of simplicity and peaceful tranquility. Vézelay is best known for the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene, one of Europe's largest and best-preserved Romanesque churches. Its harmonious architecture is alive with fascinating sculptures of saints, sinners and biblical figures. In the Middle Ages, Vézelay's basilica was a major pilgrimage destination thanks to its claimed relics of St. Mary Magdalene and its position along the route to Santiago de Compostela. Vézelay was also the site at which St. Bernard of Clairvaux preached the Second Crusade. There is even a bit of Protestant history here: Theodore Beza, a colleague of John Calvin in Geneva, was born in a house near the basilica. Follow a link below to explore this magnificent destination.


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Vézelay Abbey
Famed for its Romanesque sculpture, this 12th-century basilica is the largest Romanesque church in France. It attracted many pilgrims due to its relics of Mary Magdalene.
House of Theodore Beza
A small plaque marks the house in Vézelay where John Calvin's right-hand man was born in 1519.